* Posts by Mike Pellatt

194 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

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'Unexpected item in baggage area' assigned to rubbish area

Mike Pellatt

The latest stupid in these tills.

When I and the missus try to use the spawn-of-satan self-scan (why would I want to scan myself ?? Yes, I know it's an old one. So am I.) checkouts, we always hit another misfeature of them.

They won't scan an item until the previous fucking item is in the bagging area, weighed, and verified.

So any chance of me scanning the shopping rapidly and passing it to 'er indoors to bag up neatly and in her inexplicable positioning logic is totally lost.

I reckon it takes us twice as long as it needs to because of this, with me frantically re-scanning wondering if the lack of a beep is because the barcode won't read, the item isn't in the POS database, or she's still deciding which bag the previous item should go in.

Why not just weigh the whole fucking pile of shopping at the end and only then whinge if it's out by more than 0.00000001% ?

With the arrival of Aldi in town, I'm not sure I like their strategy. You are ordered to just take your stuff straight from the checkout operator and dump it in the trolley. Shelves are provided for you to take all the fucking shopping out again and bag it up.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: Fucking self-scan tills!

A fucking impressive rant, maybe you got into the pub at opening time today and drank a pint or ten waiting for your mates to arrive :-)

However, and it's a big however. There's many a word I could use to describe Graze boxes, after the word "expensive", but "fresh" sure as hell isn't one of them.

They have very, very neat branding, marketing, sales and pricing strategies.

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Power Bar: EE was warned of safety risk BEFORE user was burned in explosion

Mike Pellatt

Re: Cheap Chinese Fireworks

Let me tell you a little tale. Recently bought a cheap replacement laptop charger (as you do). After a few hours, it stop working.

Turned out the plug fuse had blown.

A 13A fuse in the plug for a lead that quite clearly wasn't so rated. This is a clear fire hazard.

emailed the dickhead eBay seller, and suggested it was in his interests to recall these mains leads. (S)he utterly failed to understand the issue.

5A fuses kept blowing randomly. Replaced the lead. All good. Clearly a faulty mains lead. But a 13A fuse ? Sheesh.

Then there was the ice maker bought off Amazon. Clearly not double-insulated, and had a Schuko plug with an earth connector. Supplied with a UK - Schuko adaptor which had no earth connection on the socket side.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: Common sense

Since hydrogen ignites when it reaches sufficant (sic) pressure....

You better tell that to the manufacturers of hydrogen-powered vehicles, then. They store hydrogen at up to 700 bar (according to http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr615.pdf).

I have a feeling that these little boxes would fracture before reaching even that pressure, meaning that this process is a bit unlikely in igniting them.

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Mike Bracken suddenly decides to quit GOV.UK outfit GDS

Mike Pellatt

I'll keep banging on about this.

Because it's beyond unbelievable.

Months and months since the new DartCharge system went online for the Dartford Crossing, the payments site is still tagged "alpha".

Un-be-f'ing-lievable. An alpha system for live payments processing.

The only saving grace is that the call centre systems appear to be pre-alpha from the grief that many people with payment issues have been having.

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So what the BLINKING BONKERS has gone wrong in the eurozone?

Mike Pellatt

Re: Germany really doesn't believe the last 60 years

The problem with your credit card in France wasn't its acceptability as such.

The French were way ahead of the rest of the world on card chip "security", and the 24-hour petrol stations only accepted chip cards, not magstripe. The chip system wasn't compatible with the one the UK one when it came in.

Been there, got the badge.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: Money supply

The basic problem is that money is divorced from the value of the thing it is supposed to represent.

Of course it is. Money replaced barter, and is therefore a proxy for the perceived value of everything. The determination of the multi-dimensional value of that proxy for everything that could be bartered is, I believe, called "the market' and notwithstanding certain views is far from ideal - because, I'd suggest, of the aforementioned multi-dimensionality.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: HOW IT WORKS *

"Derivatives need to be outlawed" is about as useful a policy as "shorting stocks needs to be outlawed".

There are plenty of circumstances where both are useful, and a blanket ban would be disposing of the baby with the bathwater, almost certainly with deeply unpleasant unintended consequences - very possibly worse than the unpleasant consequences of the worst excesses of both instruments.

As in most of life, we're not in "best option" territory here, but "least bad" territory.

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The US taxman thinks Microsoft owes billions. Prove it, says Microsoft

Mike Pellatt

Re: I hope this will be useful

What matters to me is the money paid out to people, such as the corporation's owners. That's what we should be taxing.

I was going to say that. But I misread "owners" as "senior employees". Given the majority owners of publicly-traded companies in the UK are us - at least any of us who has some form of private pension - I don't wan't to see huge increases in tax on corporations.

Gordon Brown did that in order to keep the incoming Labour Government's commitment to "no increase in income tax". The reduction in Advance Corporation Tax relief was one of the nails in the coffin of final-salary pension schemes - he was advised that the actuarial cost to pension schemes would be £67 billion.

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Google says its AI will jetwash all traces of malodorous spam from your box

Mike Pellatt

Re: Meh

Analogy alert !!! Analogy alert !!!!

Yes, but if if I found every chair available on the market unsuitable, and therefore researched chairs, designed and built one that suited me, I'd sure as hell tell everyone else about it because it's pretty certain there would be others out there who had needs close to mine......

Of course, chairs are a much more mature market than tech, which is why this is a less likely scenario today. Although I do like the Scandinavian backless ones that lock your pelvis, or something like that. Far more comfortable than UK-regulation compliant ones with lumbar support.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: Meh

One false positive is one too many, if it's the £100,000 per month opportunity (for me, your numbers may vary :-) ). %age false positive figures fall into the same cognitive trap as say, the one-in-a-thousand-year storm, which just happens to come along tomorrow.

I didn't follow a recipe, built my email over the years, prefer exim to postfix but that's not religious (although I do like exim's/SA-exim's teergrubing. It does make me fell good slightly reducing the spam attempt rate for everyone else. Pointless, I know, as it's all being sent from Botnets, but still.....)

Anyway, the point of this ramble is that I plumped for StartCom too. My only concern is whether a forged passport in my name will turn up on a dead Israeli specialops guy at some point. Or a Palestinian. Either is possible.

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Pluto probe brain OVERLOAD: Titsup New Horizons explained

Mike Pellatt

Re: This is proper engineering

Well, yes, by that definition even the edge of the universe is still inside of earth's gravity. But the generally accepted definition is "beyond the point where other gravitational forces exceed that exerted by the Earth".

Or something like that.

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Cambridge’s HPC-as-a-service for boffins, big and small

Mike Pellatt

Well, with ATLAS, f'rinstance, producing raw data at 1PetaByte/s (after zero-suppression), you can forget storing anywhere near all the data from major scientific experiments for a long time into the future, even if storage reaches "commoditised" prices (I thought it already had, but never mind).

So, by extension, we'll be "throwing away" data pre-determined as "uninteresting" for a long while yet. Probably forever, as we can pretty much guarantee that the experiments will be producing more data at a faster rate than affordable (or even feasible) storage size increases

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Duqu 2.0‬ malware buried into Windows PCs using 'stolen Foxconn certs'

Mike Pellatt

Re: Bigger issue

the certificate system is utterly, utterly broken.

There, fixed that for you.

But we already knew that, before this came out.

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ISP Level 3 goes TITSUP after giganto traffic routing blunder

Mike Pellatt

It certainly killed telappliant for 30 mins+

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Wi-Fi was MEANT to be this way: Antennas and standards, 802.11 style

Mike Pellatt

Re: My favorite joke on this subject is AT&T

The usual answer to that is "Where would you like me to begin ??"

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ALIENS ARE COMING: Chief NASA boffin in shock warning

Mike Pellatt

So, I might as well stop donating all those spare CPU cycles to SETIathome then.

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Forum chat is like Clarkson punching you repeatedly in the face

Mike Pellatt

Re: Good riddance, I say

Ahhh, it reminds me of those halcyon days on Usenet in the late eighties and early nineties, when Joe Public joined AOL and Compuserve and it all went to pot

Ah, yes, I remember the start of the Eternal September. It made the Dinette for sale in New Jersey posting seem positively well-educated. 1993, according to Wikipedia.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: @Terra

Knob head or bell end.

The original commenter would appear to have merged the two.

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ARM plans to win 20 per cent of the server market by the year 2020

Mike Pellatt

Re: Intel Broadwell-D

Just as Intel have been unable to break into the low-power/embedded market to date (and into the server market with reduced-power x86), ARM have been unable to break into the server market.

Will either of those change ?? Wish I knew. One or the other might happen at some point. The trick is recognising that point.

The transputer was gonna wipe the floor with the 80386....

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'Why Digital?' Seriously? You plainly don't Get It enough. Or at all

Mike Pellatt

You missed many.

You missed many, but the best is The Digital Railway.

This apparently means trying again at the signalling technology (moving block) that failed spectacularly around the turn of the millennium, leaving The Bearded One with a pile of spectacularly fast tilting trains that couldn't go anywhere near as fast as they were meant to and so no longer needed to tilt - although that didn't stop them doing it. I have the coffee stains. Probably digital tilting technology.

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REVEALED: Titsup flight plan mainframe borks UK air traffic control

Mike Pellatt

Re: Properly engineered systems!

And show me the IATA (??) airport codes containing Unicode....

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Moto E 2015: The builder's cheapie gets a serious upgrade

Mike Pellatt

Re: First against the wall...

Yabut..... after the B Ark departed, remember what wiped out the race.....

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Vodafone didn't have a £6bn tax bill. Sort yourselves out, Lefties

Mike Pellatt

Re: Tim, get real.

"the rich owners of such companies give the political parties the donations they need in order to get elected"

As someone else pointed out, these "rich owners" are almost certainly you and me, as long as you have a pension scheme of some sort as well. Not just for UK companies either - most (all?) pension schemes' investments will be globally diversified, in order to spread the risk.

Neither I nor, I suspect you, expect for one moment that any financial donations we make will influence a political party's policies.

On the other hand, we do have a vote and also the opportunity ti engage more deeply in the democratic process if we wish to change things.

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NHS refused to pull 'unfit for purpose' Care.data leaflet

Mike Pellatt

And until the unique id is one-way mapped from the NHS number.

Absolutely no need whatsoever for NHS numbers to be in the data - that's an open invitation for the data to be abused.

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Annus HORRIBILIS for TLS! ALL the bigguns now officially pwned in 2014

Mike Pellatt

Re: Supposed to be internal testing.

SNA ?? Pah. BSC3 was so much more fun. Found & fixed a bug in Olivetti's implementation of that in, oh, 1982 or so.

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Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids

Mike Pellatt

Re: Boring selection

They don't all look alike because they are copying iPhones. They all look alike because that's the nature of a mobile touchscreen device,

You, are of course, right.

But you need to go tell that to a certain judge/jury in California. And the ghost of Steve Jobs :-)

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UK.gov biz dept: Yoof APPRENTICE? Get a degree while YOU'RE HIRED

Mike Pellatt

Re: this takes me back to the 70s

Plus the "thick" sandwich - 1 year in industry, 3 years degree, 1 year in industry. This satisfied the then (pre-CPD) training requirements for CEng, just leaving 2 years to do in a "responsible position".

Very few left, except in the Forces, by the time I left school in 1973. The economic state of the country was doing for them. At graduation in 1976 it was next-to-impossible to find a formal scheme that gave you 2 years' postgrad training to satisfy the CEng requirement, at least in electronics. Different for the Civils, I think.

The move from a 3-year BSc(Eng) to a 4-year M.Eng. from my alma mater was, without a doubt, in part a repsonse to this.

Not particularly regretting that I didn't take the last-ditch opportunity a few years ago to get CEng under the grandfathered "old" scheme.

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Mike Pellatt

Oh look, a "thin sandwich" course...

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Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box

Mike Pellatt

Re: The best weather forecasting...

I upvoted, rather than downvoted. Because in the short term (up to an hour or so out of the window, maybe 3 hours using the rain radar and extrapolating, as I often do), you're dead right.

As proof, how many times has the (local) radio, relying on the forecast, told us it's bright and sunny outside, when any fule can look out the window and see its peeing down. And vice-versa.

But for any time horizon beyond that, forget it. And your sage. And whether the cows are standing or not. You really, really do need some good mathematical modelling.

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SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?

Mike Pellatt

Re: Use a public provider?

Just make sure you have your data and your apps in more than one place.

http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2013/02/07/2e2_data_centre_calamity/

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Hawking: Higgs boson in a BIG particle punisher could DESTROY UNIVERSE

Mike Pellatt

Re: Hmm,

Still, at least he hasn't fallen for something like the schoolboy error that Prof. Laithwaite did over gyroscopes, and think he's discovered perpetual motion.

Yet.

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DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore

Mike Pellatt

Re: Anyone remember the OSI protocols?

Not all the names you list weren't interested. Intel were well in there on OSI. They had a guy in EMEA, based in Swindon, dedicated to MAP/TOP. DEC, too, as someone else pointed out. And ICL.

From what I could tell later on when my then-company had an ICL connectivity product, was that it was the lack of mature routing and nameservice vis-a-vis TCP/IP that really did for OSI. Compared to TCP/IP, when properly configured, it ran sooooo much better over mobile networks.

Of course, we could argue how mature TCP-IP's routing is when core routers need 512KB+ routing tables....

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Mike Pellatt

Re: What essentially saved TCP/IP?

Also I'm bloody glad I've not needed to wage war against X.400 in the last 16+ years

Looked at Exchange Server addresses lately ?? :-)

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Steelie Neelie: Enjoy your EXCLUSIVE UHF spectrum in 2020, mobile operators

Mike Pellatt

Re: Give it all to us ..

Just a little bit of grist for the UKIP mill - but isn't the ITU the forum for spectrum allocation - current regulations being here: http://www.itu.int/pub/R-REG-RR-2012 ? Europe being part of Region 1.

When did the Commissioner decide she'd taken over responsibility for this ?

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TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button

Mike Pellatt

Re: Source Material Quality

Yeah, but they've got sodding great dishes so a slightly heavy rainstorm won't cut the signal off. Or the neighbour's tree growing across the line of sight.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: That confirms what I thought.....(@Alister)

@Dan Paul: Thank you so much for enhancing the Brit stereotype of our transatlantic cousins as being unable to understand anything with ferrous content.

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Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

Mike Pellatt

Re: Personally I use Kontact + Citadel

Yep, Citadel is so simple to set up it's hard to believe it actually does what it says on the tin.

But it does.

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Windows Registry-infecting malware has no files, survives reboots

Mike Pellatt

Re: Proud Windows Idiot

....MS will licence BSD...

I suggest you read the BSD license. You will see that MS, along with every other individual and organisation in the world, already has one. As long as they comply with its terms.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: "a tool Microsoft uses to hide its source code from being copied"

It doesnt run code from the registry. The registry entries are passed to Javascript as a process start up command.

And that's functionally different from "running code from the registry" precisely how ??

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4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles

Mike Pellatt

In the modern world, where everyone moves around, and companies want economies of scale, decisions on spectrum usage are agreed internationally.

'twas always so. In the days when everything >300MHz was considered useless for anything except broadcast TV, the main reason was that the now pretty much unused (except for splurge from data over power devices and faulty ADSL/VDSL) frequencies <30MHz can travel worldwide, so international agreement was vital to avoid different services interfering with each other.

Then satellites came along, and for much the same reasons international agreement was vital.

Once upon a time, something like a third to a half of the spectrum from DC to 1GHz was allocated to TV. Now, that was wasteful

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Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?

Mike Pellatt

Re: Let's be clear on definitions and scope of territories

And Norway keeps voting not to join the EU....

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Mike Pellatt

Re: Democracy

Well that is Democracy by majority vote. AKA "The tyranny of the majority".

Democracy by consensus-seeking is another form of democracy.

Edit: Oh, I see Mr O'Sophicall made much the same point. Good :-)

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Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS

Mike Pellatt
Facepalm

Re: Sometimes, nobody inside cares what *you* think

How is "localhost" ALWAYS turned into 127.0.0.1 ?? By calling the, errr, resolver library. Which will obey whatever rules are in its configuration to turn the string "localhost" into an IPv4 or IPv6 address.

This is known as resolving.

Or did I miss something ironic in your comment ?

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That AMAZING Windows comeback: Wow – 0.5% growth in 2015

Mike Pellatt

Re: What's to look forward to?

A Gb switch is still a Gb switch

Compare what's on the PCB of a current Gb switch with one manufactured 10 years ago. That will give the lie to your assertion that "There is no active development....". Of course, the goal of all that development was driving the manufacturing cost down (you know, commoditisation) rather than putting (mostly) all sorts of nice new shiny in so that Marketing can claim all sorts of new functionality.

Really, the software business model is completely out of kilter with every other product category in the industrialised world, and badly needs some serious disruption. The cloudy rental model isn't it. And I don't believe the problem is technological (software development models and all that)

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Maplin Electronics sold for £85m to Rutland Partners

Mike Pellatt

Re: I knew that had got expensive... but not THAT expensive!

Can't say I'm surprised.

There's a trail of companies that used to be in components and either walked or died. Mostly the latter.

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Mike Pellatt

Oh yes, remember that.

They should have patented that business model and then gone after Monster.

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Mike Pellatt

Re: I knew that had got expensive... but not THAT expensive!

Upvote for your CPC recommendation.

Though their big catalogue is, well, BIGGGGGG. Received one at work and at home.

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